The oft-delayed mail fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy trial of Tennessee State Sen. Jerry Cooper is finally set to begin today. The charges stem from a 1999 land deal.
[The most recent delay in Cooper's trial occurred in March as a result of injuries suffered by Sen. Cooper in a February 2007 single car wreck just outside of Nashville.
The wreck occurred after the senator left several legislative receptions in Nashville and apparently had consumed enough alcohol at the receptions so that his BAC (blood alcohol content) registered .18--- more than double Tennessee's .08 standard for intoxication.
Cooper faces unrelated DUI charges in connection with the wreck.]
In connection with the land deal, Senator Cooper is currently claiming that he was singled out for prosecution because he is a public figure. Too bad the purchaser of the property-- who was convicted for his part in the land deal-- couldn't make the same claim.
Neither of the charges against Cooper are related to the 2005 TN Waltz arrests that snared a number of Tennessee legislators for bribery and public corruption.